When I first started working from home back in March 2020, it felt like I hit the lottery. I'd always had an office job, but now I was excited to finally get that remote experience. This meant I could sleep in a little longer, skip out on my make-up routine, and enjoy some extra time with the kids without feeling completely wiped out! I was so happy about all the extra time saved in my day, that I started cooking from scratch and updating the decor in the house. I even joined Beach Body and started a work out program, which felt great.
After about six months things started to change. I was still working from home, but I wasn't motivated anymore. My stress and anxiety was back. Why? Isn’t this what I’d been asking for? What was wrong with me? I couldn't figure it out.
Then one day in September, like normal, I woke up and checked my first few emails from bed still half asleep. By this time most of my work programs were loaded on my cell phone. I got the kids going with virtual school, and on lunch I put the dishes in the dishwasher attempting to straighten up the house a little bit. Then BOOM! It hit me like a ton of bricks. I used to feel like I was always either at work or on "mom" duty. Now I was juggling it all AT THE SAME TIME! This was crazy! Where was the work life balance?
Instead of giving up on my remote work experience, I decided to make some tweaks and find that balance. What a game changer! I still have weeks that are difficult, but overall I LOVE working from home. Here are six tips that helped me.
Tip 1: Wake up a little earlier.
Don’t start work from the bed. Get up, wash your face (or shower), and get a cup of organic tea or coffee to wake up. It allows you time to switch over from sleep without feeling rushed which decreases stress. I personally drink decaf coffee or peppermint tea to get me going in the mornings!
Tip 2: Lunch should be used for a break.
Instead of finding things around the house to do on your lunch break, listen to a podcast or snuggle up in cozy blanket for a power nap. Anything besides housework! You're home but you still deserve a break. Last time I checked chores are still considered work.
Tip 3: Give yourself time between ending your workday and starting your home routine.
Usually, the car ride home after work is your chance to decompress and leave all the work stuff at work. Well that goes out the window when your office is in your house.Take 30 min after logging off to just sit and do nothing. Call friend or catch up on social media before you start dinner. It’s important to have a transition time. At this point my mom knows to expect my call at 5:36 every evening! It’s a date.
Tip 4: Self Care Saturdays
With COVID-19 its kind of scary to go to a massage parlor, nail salon, or bar. So, I’ve invested in some really nice, but affordable, items at home to ensure I am still giving my mind and body special attention on Saturdays. My face steamer, foot bath, oil diffuser, and red wine collection are readily available. A long shower with aromatherapy and good music can go a long way!
Tip 5: PTO is needed and well worth it.
I've never been the type to take a ton of time off work. However, with this new remote climate, its more important than ever to disconnect. If you have vacation or personal time available, take it and don’t feel guilty. Yes, you are working from home, but you are still WORKING. You deserve it!
Tip 6. Continue those time saving tricks you used before remote work.
I still cook from scratch, but I also went back to meal prepping in advance. It cuts down on cook time and takes the stress away from figuring out new meal ideas day to day. I also grocery shop online and order take out through the week. Just because you are home more doesn’t mean you have to be Gordan Ramsey. Don't feel guilty for cutting corners, most of us are doing the same thing. Save the gourmet meals for the weekend!
Now that I have found my balance, I feel less stressed. Remote work is fun again! How are you managing? Share on social media and let’s help each other.